The Teacher/Mom struggle

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-10-42-06-amSometimes it’s hard to be a teacher mom….

So, my daughter is finishing up second grade, and this has been a more challenging year for her (and in turn for me).  Increased academic demands, some girl drama emerging, reading struggles, and attentional struggles really coming to the surface.

I’ve always suspected potential attentional issues from the start of her academic career, but tried not to jump to conclusions and let my “teacher brain” be in charge.  She’s always been a kid who marched to her own tune.  She’s a stop and smell the roses kind of girl and time means nothing to her.  We’ve always had struggles with things at home such as stopping one task and transitioning to another, getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc.  She’s always needed redirection at home with these tasks.  It’s definitely been hard to decipher if it’s in her control or not and if I’m expecting too much of her.  But, this year, the attentional issues started to impact her learning.

Her struggles with reading showed up early during 2nd grade.  In 1st grade, she made steady progress, but the battles about reading at home started to happen.  I’m like a literacy junky, but couldn’t help my own daughter.  When the summer came, the battles about reading just got worse.  “I just don’t love it like you do Mommy!!  It’s too hard.  I just want to play and draw!” she would yell on a regular basis.  My heart broke.

I will admit that the teacher part in me freaked out a bit – But, she has to read.  She’s made so much progress.  She’s gonna lose it all.  Ahhhh the summer slide.  I started to panic.  Then the mom side swooped in and reminded me to breathe.  I realized that arguing and forcing her to read was just going to make her hate it even more.  We compromised – I read to her daily and without her knowing, I was helping deepen her comprehension.

But, of course the summer slide happened.  So much of her progress gone- exactly what I knew and feared would happen.  After the first reading assessment her teacher conducted, we set up a phone conference and she shared the reading regression along with some difficulties focusing, and that’s when I shared all of my concerns and told her about the struggles with reading I saw at home.  Her teacher is simply amazing.  She put a good plan in place and before we knew it, Em was receiving reading support outside of the classroom and her attitude about reading started to turn around.

While the reading was improving, the attentional issues continued to show up in different areas.  Finally, my suspicions about the attention piece was definitely effecting her learning in school – not just making me crazy at home.  After many months of hard work and collaboration between her teacher, the school support team, my husband and I, and our pediatrician, Em was diagnosed with ADHD – inattentive type.

Despite her challenges with staying focused, she has made tremendous progress this year and still loves learning!  We now have accommodations in place for next school year to keep her on the right track.  Success happens when the school (teachers, support staff, administrators) and parents work together!  I often wonder if I wasn’t a teacher would I have been so attuned to the struggles with attention as early.  Hard to say.  But while being a teacher mom can be hard, it is also great!

Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community where we can write and read slices and grow together as writers.  

 

 

12 thoughts on “The Teacher/Mom struggle

  1. It is a really tricky for us to shift between our mom and teacher selves. Yay for you for thinking so carefully about this as you support your daughter and her progress in school. And than you for sharing such honest writing with this community.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this. My son is in kindergarten but we held him back so he’s the oldest. Reading is coming slowly but the worst part is seeing him get so upset about homework and practicing his sight words. Breaks my heart! Glad your daughter is set up for success next year.

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  3. Jen, as a former Mom/Teacher (my children are adults now), I am well aware of the struggles. My son had learning and physical problems with learning being a long enduring process of endless nights of lengthy time spent to get tasks completed. As educators, it is hard to step back and put our hats down. I think having an ongoing relationship with your daughter’s teachers is a big step forward. Our children sometimes rather hear voices other than ours. Be true to your course. You will reap the rewards for your child. (BTW: it is great meeting your acquaintance.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I totally agree about having an ongoing relationship with her teachers is so important. While I know my daughter better than anyone, it is her teachers that know her in the school setting better than anyone. And she totally prefers to hear other voices than mine! My tough little cookie 🙂 It is great to meet your acquaintance as well.

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  4. Becoming mom/teacher 17 years ago helped me develop so much more compassion for my students and their parents. Being teacher/mom has its benefits too 🙂 but it makes for a little weirdness sometimes with teacher friends when you have their child in class and vice versa.

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    • Totally agree! And also having my own child with reading and attention struggles has helped me to reflect on my instruction and how I work with parents as well. I haven’t had a teacher friends’ child yet – But can only imagine the weirdness that might happen there.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve always struggled with striking that balance as a teacher-mom, vascilating between, “Oh she’ll be fine, she just needs to suck it up,” and, “Oh no! I need to intervene; what if this becomes a huge problem.” So happy your daughter is set up with some support for next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this post and how it shows the real struggles we have as mothers and teachers and the expectations that we and others put on our own children to be “model” students. I also love that you weren’t resistant to getting added reading support. So happy it’s all working out.

    Liked by 1 person

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